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    Anne Queffélec has received the following reviews for her recent CD release on Mirare MIR189 "Satie & Compagnie":

    This musical jardin à la française is dedicated to the memory of Brigitte Engerer, whose death in June last year Anne Queffélec heard of on the very morning she began recording this disc.  I have no idea in which order she played any of these 29 short works but many are suffused with a profound melancholy and nostalgia that is highly affecting.  That is not to say that it's all doom and gloom.  Far from it.  There are plenty of Gallic high spirits: Satie's 'Cancan grand-mondain' from La belle excentrique, for instance,  in which Queffélec is joined by Gaspard Dehaene, or 'Le Piccadilly' and d'Holothurie' from Embryons desséchés, the ending of which made me laugh out loud.

    Each of the 10 composers has something individual and unique to say while adhering to those peculiarly French qualities defined by Queffélec as 'concision, delicacy, clarity, restraint, rejection of turgidity, or anything heavy or pretentious'. Many of the pieces are little known, such as 'Nonchalante' by Pierre-Octave Ferroud, whose tragic early death in 1936 - he was decapitated by a car windscreen - prompted Poulenc's pilgrimage to Rocamadour and a regarining of his spiritual life.  There are several other rewarding discoveries.  The 'ultra-celebrated' (Queffélec) works like the First Gymnopédie and Clair de lune are played with a radiance and repose that are among the best on record.  The ambient sound is warm and intimate, proving that with the right microphone placement  you can achieve miracles in an empty 1000-seat auditorium like this one in Poitiers.  Altogether an enchanting disc with which to mark your 65th birthday.

    Jeremy Nicholas Gramophone April 2013

    Nobody does chillout like the French, and no Frenchman does it better than Erik Satie. A crackpot in many ways, dressed in green velvet in all seasons and never without an umbrella, Satie invented the idea of background music, which he called ‘musique d’ameublement’ (furniture music). At recitals, he urged audiences to walk around and chat while the musicians played. Muzak took that idea and ran with it.

    You can play a baby to sleep with one of Satie's Gnossiennes, or wind a weary executive down with it faster than two fingers of scotch. Along with its soporific qualities, the music of Satie possesses an intensity that shuts out the busy world and envelops you in its shimmers.

    Mme Quéffélec plays like an angel in a film noir

    What the marvellous Anne Quéffélec contrives on this unmedicated compilation is a panoply of sounds by Satie and his contemporaries, of whom the best known are Debussy, Ravel, Poulenc and Reynaldo Hahn. The flaw with albums of this kind is that the best is ever the enemy of the merely good. A Reverie of Debussy is worth 10 little pieces by Déodat de Séverac. A fanfare of Ravel’s stands out a Mont Blanc higher than any morceau of Gabriel Dupont.

    Twin peaks above them all stands Satie, who is the veritable master of the piano miniature, his genius confirmed by repeated comparison. You will play this album urgently and often but you may find yourself hitting the skip button now and then. The Steinway sound at Poitiers, by the by, is celestial and Mme Quéffélec plays like an angel in a film noir.

    Norman Lebrecht February 2013

    Angela Brownridge

    Angela's recording of The Great Pianist-Composers for Cameo Classics CC9045 received the following review in Musical Opinion.

    Two truly excellent CDs played by one of Britain's mnost highly-gifted pianists and very well recorded in first-rate sound.  Ms Brownridge takes on some of the finest pianists in the world in this repertoire, yet is on the highest level in terms of musical insight and technical adroitness.  I enjoyed each of these very well planned CDs very much indeed, and recommend them unreservedly.

    James Palmer

    David W Birch

    During February and March 2013 a watercolour by David W Birch was chosen for exhibition at the Royal Watercolour Society (London) International Open Watercolour Competition at RWS Bankside Gallery, London. David has been a frequent exhibitor at RWS exhibitions and his latest work, ‘The Railway Bridge over The Avon, Evesham,’   a watercolour 56x76cm, attracted much attention.  

    Angela Brownridge

    Angela Brownridge included concerts at Tianjin Concert Hall, Xuzhou Concert Hall, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chongqing Nan’an Centre, Fuling Grand Theatre and Chongqing Guotai Arts Centre during her tour of China in June 2013.  Programmes included works by Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Scriabin and Gershwin.  Also included in the tour were masterclasses in Xuzhou and a special recital programme designed to appeal to children, with favourite pieces including  The Golliwog’s Cakewalk by Debussy, characters from Schumann’s Carnaval and Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca.

     

    Quatuor Parisii

    Quatuor Parisii at Salle Gaveau

     

     

     

     

     

    Congratulations to Quatuor Parisii who continued their 30th anniversary celebrations with a special concert at Salle Gaveau, Paris on Saturday 19 January 2013.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Peter Bradley-Fulgoni

    PianOLYPHONY

    A new recording by pianist Peter Bradley-Fulgoni explores the dissolution of tonality and experimentation with dissonance in works of and around the twentieth century by Liszt, Busoni, Schönberg, Berg, Gerhard, Hindemith and  the hugely talented Italian composer and artist Massimo Di Gesu, who also designed the CD’s cover. The recording, by Foxglove Audio, fulfils a long-held ambition to record the Hindemith Sonata, which Peter first heard in the 1970s when acting as page-turner for his teacher, Kendall Taylor.

    The CD was launched at a recital at the Circolo Filologico in Milan in November. An associated article on the work of the Second Viennese School, for Architectural Research Quarterly is in press; this follows previous essays on Bach and Beethoven. Peter’s concert schedule for 2013 includes a tour at the invitation of the Richter Foundation that involves giving impromptu concerts at a variety of venues in Siberia in exactly the way that Sviatoslav Richter used to do.

    Angela Brownridge

    2012 was a busy year for pianist Angela Brownridge, with many further concerts planned in 2013.  Her recent release of three CDs, entitled “The Three Great Pianist Composers”,   on the Cameo Classics label, features works by Chopin, Schumann and Liszt.  A review by Alice Artzt of Princetown, USA states “…these discs contain a well-chosen selection of examples of major works of the romantic virtuoso piano repertoire in compelling, definitive interpretations.  Brownridge is a wonderfully exciting master of this repertoire with a technique that has no limitations.  In her hands the music flows as naturally as the ideas that flowed from the composers’ pens.”

    During the autumn months Angela gave a number of recitals in major European concert halls including the Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels, Berlin Konzerthaus , and Concertgebouw Amsterdam.  Her programmes reflect her wide repertoire and include Fantasie no 2 in C major of CPE Bach, Beethoven's 'Appassionata' Sonata, Mendelssohn's Variations sérieuses, Polonaises and Impromptus of Chopin, 2 Rachmaninov Preludes Opus 23, and  4 of the Studies Op. 8 by Scriabin. 

    Quatuor Parisii

    Quatuor Parisii made their second visit to USA in 2012 during a November tour which includes Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Rexburg, Oklahoma City, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg and Huntsville.  Their programmes showcased many pieces from the French repertoire for which they are renowned, including quartets by Chausson, Debussy, Ravel, Franck and Taillferre.

     

    Annabel Carey

    Following the success of her touring batik exhibition "Spirit of Stones"  which was seen at venues from Aberdeen to Truro, artist Annabel Carey has been working on a new and innovative project which is nearing completion.  Entitled "The Time of Trees"  details will shortly be revealed.

     

    David Birch

    David Birch continues his association with Creative Campden, which supports the work of over 50 creative talents from Chipping Campden and the surrounding area including artists, photographers,  jewellery makers,  furniture makers and many more. Their work is on display at the Old Silk Mill,  Sheep Street,  Chipping Campden.

     

     

     

     

     
      
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

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